We recently met with Denise and Nicola from Cornish Celebrants to show them around Treseren, and to explore wedding ceremony options. They are the most warm, lovely people who instantly put you at ease and we loved all their ideas imagining where they could hold their ceremonies in the grounds and indoor spaces.
We really enjoyed hearing about their personalised ceremonies and wanted to share all the experience, love and joy Cornish Celebrants can bring to a wedding ceremony. They offer something truly unique and special – read our chat with them to find out more….
Can you tell us a bit about your background and what inspired you to be Celebrants?
We both worked for Cornwall Registration Service – Nicola for nearly 20 years and Denise for 11 and covered the registration of all life events, (births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships). We conducted over two thousand legal marriage and civil partnership ceremonies. After a big re-organisation in 2014, we were made redundant and decided to set up The Guild of Cornish Celebrants to offer a more bespoke and personalised ceremony for couples and families free of any legal restrictions. The ceremonies we now deliver give us immense job satisfaction – it’s a joy and privilege to go to work!
What makes your ceremonies special?
We really focus on our couples and what they want from their ceremony – it’s never about us, it is truly all about them. We meet with our couples and chat to them about their vision for their day, and we then work with them to include words and rituals that speak to their hearts. We are so pleased that we have won the SW Celebrant category in The Wedding Industry Awards for the past 2 years. This is a real accolade to our professionalism and commitment to our couples.
What different elements can be included in a ceremony?
There are so many! Some of the most popular are handfasting, “tying the knot”, sand ceremony rituals, inclusion of songs or religious readings. We love to research and use new ideas – “passing the heartbeat” is a wonderful way of including all the guests in the ceremony. We can update traditions – so rather than the father “giving” the daughter away, we can ask each set of parents if they welcome their son or daughters partner into their family. We love to get everybody involved by vocalising their support for the couple. We love to use our creativity to develop new ideas and personalised ways of the couple showing their love for each other.
What’s your advice to couples who want to marry legally, but still want to have a personalised ceremony with you?
With our experience as Registration Officers we are in a great position to advise our couples – we keep our knowledge up to date to ensure that the advice we give is correct. We favour the continental approach to marriage: attendance at the Register Office to do ‘the legal bit’ – a statutory ceremony where they will just say their legal words to each other which can take place before the celebration. This leaves them free to enjoy their personalised wedding celebration where they can say their meaningful vows and exchange their rings.
What about if couples are worried friends and family won’t think it’s the real thing?
All the elements of a wedding are there at the celebration – bride, groom, vows, rings, signing of The Guild of Cornish Celebrants Register – and this is what the guests will be expecting to see. The real thing is where you exchange your heart felt vows to each other!
We heard this wonderful way of explaining it. “Think of it this way, when you sign at the solicitors to buy your house – that’s the legal side of it, but when you step over the threshold of your new house – that’s your home, that’s where your heart tells you that “this is where I will live and thrive”. A marriage is that legal aspect of your union, but the wedding celebration is where it comes to life in a romantic, thrilling and life changing ceremony.”
How do you work with different faiths and beliefs?
One of the pleasures of being an Independent Celebrant is that we are able to bring together separate aspects of a couple’s life within their ceremony and this can include the incorporation of cultural traditions or aspects of faith. This is one of the major differences between an Independent Celebrant and a Humanist Celebrant. (Humanist’s have their own belief system which precludes the inclusion of any religious or any spiritual aspects.) We feel it is so important on this most special of days for a couple that everyone feels a part of the ceremony and is able to relate to it, whether this is a poem in a native language, a ritual which is fundamental to a belief system or a period of quiet reflection. This allows the couple and their guests to bring their own faith and beliefs to the celebration.
We are able to devote the time to spend with the couple to ensure we understand what is important to them, their family and wider circle of friends.
Please tell us about your ceremonies for Renewal of Vows
There are so many reasons for couples wanting to renew their vows; a special anniversary, after a period of difficulty or following life changing illness.
We work with the couple to ensure their ceremony completely reflects their wishes, and often involves their children. We can use rituals such as a sand ceremony or a family “tie the knot” ritual to encompass the connection between them at the celebration. These ceremonies can be very moving as they may be just between the couple or with close family – which emphasises the strength of their union.
When you choose Treseren as your wedding venue, it’s important to us that you have your wedding, your way. That’s why there are options to marry in any of the beautiful spaces in our grounds – both inside and outside, plus as well as immersive intimate wedding weekends, we also offer ceremony only options.
A big thank you to Denise and Nicola from Cornish Celebrants for sharing their journey with us – we can’t wait to work with them on future Treseren weddings!